Kopecky Family Band - Kids Raising Kids
God I love this shit. This popped up on my Rdio feed under Heavy Rotation (thank you whoever has been listening to this) and as always I was skeptical… MORE of this folky rock stuff?! Passing trend or not, I love this album. There seems to be ‘something’ that is missing from here to truly push this into the 5/5 territory (except for that track Change. My God, the lyrics to this...
Milo Greene - Milo Greene
When Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons came out in 2009 and then The Civil Wars won a Grammy a few years ago, I was pretty certain that the next big music trend would be acoustic folk music. Could be worse right? (thanks, brostep) Within the span of a few years, bands like The Lumineers are selling out big venues, and being slapped across the face by Elton John (yeah, that happened - to the...
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
On my first few listens to this album, half of it really stood out to me. Shock To your System, Messed Up, Hero, Fool. The other tracks (other than Closer, which I’ve listened to too much the past few months) were kind of ‘meh’ to me. I thought they were valiant attempts at pop, but perhaps had ‘crossed the line’ to cheesiness or something, or maybe it was just the...
Jessie Ware - Devotion
This album grew on me much more towards the end of the year and I have to say it is probably in my top 5 favourites from 2012. Jessie Ware has been called the ‘next Sade’ - I’m not a big fan of comparisons like that, but it’s a good way to give people a sense of what her music is like. She combines pop, RnB, soul, electronic (UK bass I guess, with her ties to SBTRKT etc.),...
Dido - No Freedom
The older I get, the more I love Dido. 2013 is going to be a great year.
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
Let’s take a minute to talk about how bananas the new Tegan and Sara album is going to be. They have songwriter/producer genius Greg fucking Kurstin on this thing. It is a bit of a ‘departure’ from their previous work, but I think people say that about each of their albums anyways? Very excited for Jan 29 - fantastic pop songs with your tried and true Tegan and Sara FEELS....
Best of 2012 List
#1: Fiona Apple - “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” <END OF LIST>
Favourites of 2012: Stars - North
I thought their last release 5 Ghosts was terrible. I listened to it twice when it came out and just abandoned it. I don’t know wtf was going on with that album - and then I listened to North and am glad to say that they are back on their fucking game. Old people fucking know their shit (I mean that as a compliment). Stars have been doing this for 10+ years and this is a very confident album...
Favourite songs of 2012: Charli XCX - You're the...
Other than being catchy as hell, what I love the most about this song is how it combines all the ‘big’ trending sounds and styles in mainstream into one amazing song. That major chord right when the chorus hits ughhgugh*()$(#OHRH*hr3 fap - and that British talking at the end? I usually hate HATE HATE talking in music, but if it’s in British I’ll let it go (it actually...
Favourites of 2012: Cat Power - Sun
My first exposure to Cat Power was through Diplo, when he sampled Get Free on his Fabriclive compliation. How embarrassing. But God damn, that led me to The Greatest - one of the best permasad songs ever. Early Cat Power is your quintessential songwriter: personal demons, drinking problems, etc. = raw, honest, heartfelt songs. Cat Power on the road to recovery = Sun. I follow her on instagram and...
Muse - The 2nd Law
Oh Muse. So much potential. It makes no difference what I think about The 2nd Law, they sell millions of records and I already have tickets to see them in Toronto but this album is … inconsistent at best. There are some really nice moments on here, but at its worse, it’s pretty damn bad. The lyrics are also another really sore point for me. Luckily, their music is sometimes epic enough...
Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon
I really miss listening to music like this sometimes. When I was in high school I went through this ‘phase’ of listening to folky independent singer songwriters (blame Lilith Fair) and this album really takes me back. This is warm, intimate, and personal stuff and it’s a welcome change from the more produced and polished music that I usually listen to. I really enjoyed her...
Tegan and Sara - Closer
First thoughts on the first single… 0:01 - yes SYNTHS 0:15 - yes BEATS 0:20 - minimal nasal-ness (Y) 0:30 - this is so good 0:40 - this chorus is baller 0:50 - good usage of “ahs” and “ohs” 1:14 - this is so good 1:20 - I hope this song never ends 1:30 - I’m so happy right now 1:50 - amazing usage of descending notes 2:00 - minimal nasal-ness (Y) ...
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
Tegan and Sara have really annoying voices. Tegan is ok, but Sara’s voice, oh my God. It’s not just nasally, it’s actually chipmunky at times. When So Jealous came out I tried really hard to like it as there is no denying their ability to write really great songs … but their voices … are grating. Then Rockband 3 came out and The Con was on there. The acoustic guitar...
New Music Tuesdays - September 4, 2012
Where I go through Rdio’s new releases library and give my first thoughts. Firstworldproblems: TOO MUCH NEW MUSIC ON A TUESDAY. Holy shit this week is stacked, with releases from: Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon Loving this so far, but most of the tracks haven’t really stood out yet except for The World is Watching. On the first listen the songs just sound like derivatives of stuff...
Band of Skulls Post
Band of Skulls are hands down my favourite ‘current’ band. I don’t know why I have to specify current but I would feel bad placing them ahead of The Cardigans or something. Maybe it’s because so many artists are trying to out-weird, out-avant garde … and are just trying so damn hard to do something new, that I fell in love with the simplicity of Band of Skulls. They...
I was going through the Pitchfork People’s List (thus proving that we’re all just the same <3) and while it was filled with Radiohead and Kanye, it made me want to listen to Interpol really badly. Turn on the Bright Lights came in at #12 and Antics came in at #106 . While Turn on the Bright Lights (TOBL) is heralded as their most amazing work to date / one of the best albums of the...
New Release Tuesdays: August 21, 2012
New release Tuesdays means I get to scroll through the new stuff in the Rdio library and write down what my initial impressions of the album are. This week: Bloc party - 4: Bloc Party are BACK! Yay! The new album starts out awesome (very typical Bloc Party stuff but for 2012) and then I got kind of bored. Will re-listen. Add to collection? Yes, but only because it’s Bloc Party ...
My love letter to Rdio
2012 is the year that I finally stopped downloading music illegally. I’m not going to get into my moral views on this (basically it is: I’m stealing, so what?), but for the past 10+ years, I could easily get music for free so I did. For $10/month, Rdio gives me access to a massive library of songs at any time (if there is internet). I can sync the music I really like to my phone so I...
Lollapalooza: Day 3
My last day of Lollapalooza started out kind of poorly. We slept in because of the aftershow the night before, and basically my legs felt like they were going to fall off by that point of the trip. We were really looking forward to FINALLY seeing The Verve Pipe. There was a schedule misprint for their Friday show and Saturday got rained out. Unfortunately, I thought The Verve Pipe were playing at...
Lollapalooza: Day 2 (Evacua-looza?)
Day 2 of Lollapalooza was interesting, although we didn’t know it when we woke up that day. We noticed on the first day going through security that they were super strict about aerosol sun block. They had 0% tolerance for aerosol cans, but 100% tolerance for people smuggling in alcohol. So, we went to the liquor store (where there was a lineup, filled with people with Lolla wristbands) and...
Lollapalooza: Day 1
I’m sitting here at work on my first day back from Chicago and I’m going to write about Lollapalooza to keep myself awake. I can’t tell if I have allergies or if I’m sick, but I just want to lie in my bed and pass out right now. Day 1 of Lollapalooza already seems like it was a lifetime away. I think the first stage we went to was Perry’s. We had just got inside...
The Mynabirds - Generals
I have to attribute this find to rdio. I haven’t seen a lot of press for The Mynabirds, but it showed up in my Heavy Rotation queue and honestly, I was intrigued by the cover (there goes that saying about judging a book by a cover…) I am so glad I decided to give this a listen. For some reason they remind me of a 2012 version of old Sarah McLachlan? I mean that as a huge compliment....
ramblingman92 asked: Fiona Apple at le Sound Academy was MOST DEFINITELY a 10/10. She killed every single song, especially "Not About Love". (:
Fiona Apple @ The Sound Academy
My Flickr Photoset I was a bit worried about the Fiona Apple concert before it happened. Given my latest experience with the tragic Radiohead stage collapse a few weeks ago, I was scared to be excited for this concert. I haven’t seen Fiona Apple in 6 years (and I had to drive all the way to NY to make it happen). The last time she was in Toronto, she had a bit of a stage tantrum (I don’t even...
Metric - Synthetica
I was a bit nervous for this album because the first single Youth Without Youth was less than stellar for me. With the exception of the single, I’m very relieved to say that the album is really good. If you listen to each Metric album as the band has progressed, Synthetica makes a lot of sense, as they continue to combine on the strengths of each album they release. Synthetica is not just...
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
Where do I begin with Fiona Apple? One of my most respected artists of all time. Dissecting the lyrics, listening to the melodies, and de-constructing the notes. It brings me so much enjoyment, to peel back the layers. Her music demands my respect so I just shut the fuck up and listen. Unlike a lot of artists out there, Fiona Apple is truly a musician. I have been listening to The Idler Wheel...
NXNE 2012 = Good Times
I think I’ll officially take a day off work for NXNE next year. 2013, mark my words. Highlights: Bran Van 3000, Portugal. The Man, Yamatanka // Sonic Titan, The Black Belles, good eats, good vibes, T Dot camaraderie
Beach House - Bloom
You’ve probably read about it 2000 times on the internet already, but aside from just having a super sexy album cover, the latest Beach House album is amazing. The opening track blew me away - utterly gorgeous. Just listen to this album and be ready to be mesmerized. They are really rocking the art of the broken chords/arpeggio style riff, and when you mix in the echo-y vocals what you get...
Garbage @ The Phoenix
(my flickr photoset) Listening to Garbage in 2012 is interesting. I joke that they’re another band keeping the “dream of the 90s alive”, but they actually don’t sound very 90s at all (aka not grungey). I remember when the band came out, their use of electro was considered weak/soft/shitty/lame/etc. by some. However, in 2012 their sound fits right into alt music culture,...
Road to Lollapalooza: The Big Pink
Ongoing reviews of bands playing Lollapalooza as I prepare to “study” for the festival: The Big Pink - Picture This I really like The Big Pink, even if they really just do the same thing over and over again. Exhibit A: this album. While some of the songs manage to stand out (i.e. the singles), there is very little variety over the 44 minutes. However, I do know that some of these...
Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal
If you look at my About page this album almost has it all, but for some reason it feels like something is missing. But damn if they don’t have that “play-the-chord-on-each-beat and the move-it-one-tone-up style of build that just makes everything sound so GOOD and GRAND” thing down. Also, alternating male/female vocals are my kryptonite. The downside of that is, all the...
Grimes - Visions
Maybe I just don’t get it, but I did not enjoy this album. Oblivion is a great track and I listen to it all the time. It has a melody and a hook. Call me old fashioned but I like it when my songs have melodies and some semblance of structure. Randomness can be good, but this is just poorly crafted music. Maybe this album will grow on me and I will eat my words, but right now it sounds...
Metric - Youth Without Youth (journey through a...
Let me start off by saying that I love Metric. They know how to write a mean hook and they’re not afraid to do it, over and over again (as evidenced on Fantasies). I have already pre-ordered their latest album (special edish, obv) so regardless of what I think about Youth Without Youth, I am still very excited to hear the rest of Synthetica. Below is a very rough chart of what I thought of...
The Cranberries - The Sound Academy
I remember hearing The Cranberries on the radio (104.5 CHUM FM) all the damn time growing up, so I was super excited for this concert. It appears that bands from the 90s are now making ‘comebacks’, and I 100% buy into these trips down nostalgia lane. I think this review is less of what I thought of the actual concert in terms of music as it is really just a graph of my emotions...
Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe
While the album is quite solid, I found that it didn’t wow me at any point (i.e. stopped me in my tracks, swept me off my feet, etc). However, it is consistently good throughout. Ending score: 3.5 (I would actually probably give it a 3 though)
Blood Red Shoes - In Time to Voices
A lot of .5 scores here. Nothing creatively brilliant about this album, but very solid songs. I wish they would come to Toronto. Ending score: 3.57
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
The album in which I finally get over their really nasal voices. I fucking love this album. I love the shit out of it. Ending score: 3.77
Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
Such an amazing album. Starts off insane and kind of tapers off in the end, but just OMFG. That is all. Ending score: 4.10